FICIL

AmCham, as an Associate member of the Foreign Investors' Council in Latvia (FICIL), is invited to delegate its members to take part in the working groups aiming at proposing constructive recommendations to the government on a variety of issues.

FICIL is a business organization made up of the largest foreign investors in Latvia and 13 chambers of commerce. FICIL's mission is to improve the business environment and grow foreign investments in Latvia through an active dialogue with the government. Since 1999 FICIL meets annually with the Latvian government at a High Council meeting, providing expertise and recommendations on Latvia's economic development.

As a member of FICIL, AmCham invites its members to participate or continue taking part in the following working groups of FICIL:

Education
Leader: Claudio Rivera (Riga Business School)
The work group deals with issues related to education, especially higher education. The work group has been actively advocating for improvements of the governance of Latvian universities to ensure quality of higher education. Other work group priorities are related with fragmentation of recourses in higher education, matching labour market demand and supply of education system. The work group has been vocal addressing principles of individualisation, cooperation, and internationalization of higher education.

Food and Drink Industry
Leader: Nele Normak (Coca-Cola)
It is planned that the work group will cover topicalities regarding sugar tax, initiatives in product labelling, review planed policy initiatives regarding sweeteners, look at topicalities regarding food waste issue and EU proposed rules in plastic reduction.

Economic and Financial Crime issues
Leader: Ulvis Jankavs (SEB), Andris Lazdiņš (Ellex Klavins)
The work group is working on recommendation for Latvian government to improve legal acts so that they go in line with principles of justice, rule of law and transparency. One of the work group's important tasks among the others is to address the injustice of fraudulent abuse of insolvency system.

Labour Force Issues
Leaders: Irina Kostina (Ellex Klavins) 
The work group has been working on policy and legal issues related to the quality of Latvia's professional education, its compliance with the Latvia's labour market needs, quality of skilled labour and smart immigration policy. FICIL belives that workforce should be made more accesible, improvement of the infrastructure is required in order to attract investments and a labour force and improvments of reulatory framework should be made..

Transport issues 
Leaders: Arnis Kākulis (AECOM)
The work group deals with issues related to transportation policy and logistics issues. The work group has been vocal in raising topics related with transparency of logistics policy and railway tariffs.

Energy and Waste Management
Leader: Dace Cīrule (Deloitte)
Next meeting:  December 6 at 8:00 at FICIL office Kr. Barona 13/15-20
The work group deals with issues related to energy sector and waste management policy. Clarify the terms for potential implementation of the deposit system in Latvia and turning waste into resource by promoting material and energy recovery are the priorities in the waste management field. In the field of energy sector policy work group recommends to adopt integrated national energy and climate change plan and promote cost efficiency in the Renewable Energy Policy, demand de-carbonization also from non-ETS sectors and consistency and predictability regarding Mandatory Procurement Component reforms.

Digitalization
 
Leader: Renārs Rūsis (Swedbank)
Next meeting: November 29 at 9:00 at FICIL office Kr. Barona 13/15-20
The work group is continuing to draft recommendations. The main topics of FICIL's upcoming position paper include centralised registry and exchange of information as well as quality and usage of e-services.

Construction work group
Leader: Ilze Kramiņa and Zanda Zaļuma (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns) 
The FICIL Construction work group has been a very active participant of the Latvian legal environment, contributing to the improvement of the construction regulations and investment environment in all governmental levels. The work group has proposed reviewing the construction legislation with respect to the liability of the construction process participants and looking for other ways to improve the regulation.

Healthcare issues work group
Leader: Daina Dzirkale (GlaxoSmithKline)
Next meeting with the Minister of Health on November 26 at 16:00
Given that the healthcare system is an important topic for every entrepreneur, FICIL has established the Healthcare issues work group. The Healthcarre issues work group is looking at Healthcare Financing Law adopted in the end of last year.

Investment Protection and Court Efficiency
Leader: Māris Vainovskis (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)
The work group held a meeting recently to discuss the necessary improvements concerning the quality of legislation, the need for specialised commercial court and the International Monetary Fund's report on the progress of insolvency proceedings.

Intellectual Property Protection work group
Leader: Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa (COBALT)
Intellectual property protection work group reviews legislation related to intellectual property rights and gives its recommendation to the Latvian government for improvement of legal acts.

Tax Policy and Administration work group

Leaders: Vita Sakne (PwC), Aija Kļavinska (Deloitte), Baiba Strupiša (ILCC)
Next meeting: November 21 at 9:00 and November 26 at 15:00 at FICIL office Kr. Barona 13/15-20
Tax work group is working on issues related to tax administration and policy. The work group is closely following developments in Latvia's tax system and tax administration, and actively coming up with proposals for the State Reveneu Service on how to improve the business environment and investment climate through changes and improvements in tax system and/or administration. Predictable tax policy for business, tax administration and fight against shadow economy are top priorities for the work group.

If you are interested in taking part in FICIL work groups, please sign up here

(Information last updated on November 19, 2019) 

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AmCham is a 'must-join' organization for any company of scope or international ambition.

Karlis Cerbulis, Senior Vice President of NCH Advisors, Inc.

AmCham is a 'must-join' organization for any company of scope or international ambition.

Karlis Cerbulis, Senior Vice President of NCH Advisors, Inc.